Argentina’s economic woes harm chances for Macri come October election

Argentina’s economic woes harm chances for Macri come October election

Argentinian authorities will release inflation data for April today, which is expected to show a rise of 4%. Annual inflation

macri economy

Photo: Rodrigo Nespolo/The Nation

Argentinian authorities will release inflation data for April today, which is expected to show a rise of 4%.

Annual inflation is expected to remain above 50%, which has caused and been compounded by a depreciation of the Argentina peso. The peso has lost more than half its value against the strong performing US dollar since last year.

Today’s data will further dent President Mauricio Macri’s hopes of re-election ahead of elections slated to begin on October 27. Mr Macri came to power in 2015 after promising to repair Argentina’s struggling economy. But with all economic indicators, including growth—which contracted by 2.5% last year—substantially worse now than four years ago, his popularity has plummeted. Indeed, the Argentine’s approval rating sits at some 30%, down considerably from the 50% he enjoyed only a year ago.

This has increased speculation that his populist predecessor Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will seek the presidency in October. Despite facing corruption charges, polling suggests Ms Fernandez would defeat Mr Macri in a runoff vote.

A Fernandez presidency would likely see Macri’s austerity measures rolled back, largely through price freezes on food and utilities. While popular with voters, such a policy would scare investors, likely continuing Argentina’s economic woes in the long-term.

Delve deeper: 2019 forecast: Argentina’s presidential elections

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